"Associate yourself with people of good quality, for it is better to be alone than in bad company."

"At the bottom of education, at the bottom of politics, even at the bottom of religion, there must be for our race economic independence. "Cast down your bucket where you are."

"Character is power."

"Character, not circumstances, makes the man."


"Dignify and glorify common labor. It is at the bottom of life that we must begin, not at the top."

"Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way."

"Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him, and to let him know that you trust him."

"I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has had to overcome while trying to succeed."

"I think I have learned that the best way to lift one's self up is to help someone else."

"I will permit no man to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him."

"I would permit no man, no matter what his colour might be, to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him."

"If you can't read, it's going to be hard to realize dreams."

"If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else."

"In any country, regardless of what its laws say, wherever people act upon the idea that the disadvantage of one man is the good of another, there slavery exists. Wherever, in any country the whole people feel that the happiness of all is dependent upon the happiness of the weakest, there freedom exists."

"Men may make laws to hinder and fetter the ballot, but men cannot make laws that will bind or retard the growth of manhood."

"My whole life has largely been one of surprises."

"No greater injury can be done to any youth than to let him feel that because he belongs to this or that race he will be advanced in life regardless of his own merits or efforts."

"No man who continues to add something to the material, intellectual, and moral well-being of the place in which he lives is long left without proper reward."

"No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem."

"Nothing ever comes to one, that is worth having, except as a result of hard work."

"Of all forms of slavery there is none that is so harmful and degrading as that form of slavery which tempts one human being to hate another by reason of his race or color."

"One man cannot hold another man down in the ditch without remaining down in the ditch with him."

"Progress, progress is the law of nature; under God it shall be our eternal guiding star."

"Success in life is founded upon attention to the small things rather than to the large things; to the everyday things nearest to us rather than to the things that are remote and uncommon."

"Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome."

"The individual who can do something that the world wants done will, in the end, make his way regardless of his race."

"The world cares very little what you or I know, but it does care a great deal about what you or I do."

"There are two ways of exerting one's strength: one is pushing down, the other is pulling up."

"There is no escape — man drags man down, or man lifts man up."

"There is no power on earth that can neutralize the influence of a high, simple and useful life."

"To hold a man down, you have to stay down with him."

"We do not want the men of another color for our brothers-in-law, but we do want them for our brothers."

"We must reinforce argument with results."

"You can't hold a man down without staying down with him."

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